The Banquet Of The Supreme Being

Ivan Turgenev

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One day the Supreme Being took it into his head to give a great banquet in
his palace of azure.

All the virtues were invited. Only the virtues ... men he did not ask ...
only ladies.

There were a great many of them, great and small. The lesser virtues were
more agreeable and genial than the great ones; but they all appeared in
good humour, and chatted amiably together, as was only becoming for near
relations and friends.

But the Supreme Being noticed two charming ladies who seemed to be totally

The Host gave one of the ladies his arm and led her up to the other.

'Beneficence!' he said, indicating the first.

'Gratitude!' he added, indicating the second.

Both the virtues were amazed beyond expression; ever since the world had
stood, and it had been standing a long time, this was the first time they
had met.

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